You Ask, I Answer: Planning Out 2020 Marketing Strategy?

Lauren asks, “I’m planning out 2020 and I’m curious….what tools do you use? Is there a template, worksheet, planner, or process that you swear by?”

For marketing, I take my Google Analytics traffic from the last couple of years and run a predictive analytics algorithm to forecast next year’s traffic. Then I look at the traffic numbers, plus my existing conversion rates, to determine whether I’ll be ahead or behind goals for the year ahead, by channel (email, social, etc.) and make plans to fix the weak spots and double down on the good spots. Watch the video for a walkthrough.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

Christopher Penn 0:07 In today’s episode Lauren asks, I’m planning out 2020.

I’m curious, what tools do you use? Is there a template, a worksheet planner or process that you swear by? for marketing? Yes.

What I swear by is using predictive analytics to forecast forward what’s likely to happen so that I can make decisions whether I like what I’m looking at or not.

This is based on Google Analytics data because Google Analytics is probably one of our most reliable sources of data for marketing is it has its issues as all systems do.

But if you can work around those issues, and extract the data out in and put it into more advanced statistical software for analysis, it’s incredibly valuable.

What you can do with it is just astonishing.

So let’s actually let’s take a look at an example here first, before We do anything else actually want to bring up? One of the more important things to do is do traffic driver analysis to figure out what is it that zoom to fit here? What matters.

Because if you don’t know what matters, what’s working in your analytics, then you can’t make any decisions from it.

So looking at your goals and your goal values in Google Analytics, assuming you’ve got good goals set up, what is making those goals happen.

Now, again, Google Analytics stores all this data for you.

It’s just got to get it out and process it.

So in this case, this is a customer journey mapping from my website.

And the size of the numbers indicates the importance of any given channel.

So here, medium drove 7% of the conversions to my website.

That’s interesting.

I didn’t actually know that.

So that’s something to keep in mind.

Google organic search from Google itself.

65% of my conversions in the last two months, that’s a huge number.

That’s actually a little concerning.

Because if I am not diversifying my traffic sources, I am vulnerable to a massive algorithm changes that could substantially diminish my ability to attract new audiences.

So that’s a little concerning.

It’s good, I guess, but not great.

An email, about 6% of my conversions, give or take YouTube actually looking good, you know, small but but real growth, their traffic from Trust Insights, which I’m happy to see.

There’s a Moodle instance here, which is interesting.

Moodle is a online course management software.

So someone has a link to my website in one of their courses.

And that’s pretty cool.

We also see the usual suspects here, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on and so forth.

Those channels are not referring nearly as much traffic to me.

So I have a pretty good sense of you know, referral traffic particularly from medium organic search and email are sort of the three channels I need to pay attention to.

So let’s go over to a traffic forecast.

So this is a traffic forecast.

You can see the channel groupings here.

The data is extracted using the our programming language, and then visualized in the software choice I use Tableau for this because I like tableau.

So year to date, I’m getting about 20, almost 30,000 visitors a month from organic search, I’m getting about 2000 visitors a mother referral traffic 1300 social 1200 an email and granted this is this number is not file for this quarter because the court is not over yet.

Looking forward.

The predictive software that I’m using is indicating that I’m actually looking at a pretty substantial decline in organic search traffic.

Let’s switches over to yearly view Looking at a deficit of about 20,000 visitors next year from organic certified referral traffic scoring, which is good by email and social traffic or about flat, but that organic search gap is really concerning.

And it’s doubly concerning because a there’s a traffic loss here.

But now, if we refer back to that customer journey mapping, right, this one here where we saw organic search being 66% of my traffic, that’s an uncomfortable place to be.

So the question is now from a planning perspective going into 2020 do I diversify my traffic to try and make up for that gap? Do I double down on my search efforts and try and fix what’s wrong with my search strategy? Do I look for, for example, Bing is in my my customer journey about 2%? Do I do some optimization for being to try and diversify even my organic search sources? These are now questions that will form the basis of my 2020 planning.

Now, knowing my website, knowing how I run it This is my personal site is not the company’s website is not something that is a strong commercial interest.

I’m going to try to improve my email, I make sure that it continues to be valuable and and boost the numbers of visitors from email to my website.

I’m going to continue to grow YouTube, I’m going to do a lot more on medium.

Clearly I have to, and because it’s such a large portion and up because I don’t put pay, I don’t pay money to promote my personal website.

I have to improve my organic search.

There’s, if this was a company like Trust Insights, and I had ad budget, where I was willing to put in AD budget, I should say click, I could spend money on my website, but I don’t.

Then I would want to try and bolster some of my strong points in organic search with some paid search.

That would be a logical strategic thing to do.

If this was a business in this case, it’s not because again, it’s a personal website.

So I’m going to just strengthen what I can and look to diversify traffic sources away from organic search being so heavy for my site.

So that’s the process, and the plan and the template that I used to do strategic planning.

Because without this, you just kind of guessing like, oh, let’s do more of this and seem to work really well this this past year.

Well know if you use well established statistical algorithms for forecasting time series forecasting, you can get a sense of what’s likely to happen, and then decide how important is a loss of traffic in this area? How important is the loss of traffic and this year? How important is the gain of traffic in this area? And then what do you choose to do from that? So that’s the process I personally would use and recommend.

It does require, in this case, customs coast custom code to build the software that makes these predictions.

But once you have it once you have the ability to do That forecasting, you can make data driven, well informed decisions.

And in this case, if this was, if this was a company, I would know what’s likely to happen in the year to come, I would know where I’m going to be week, and then get ahead of that, right.

So in sort of that this time next year, if I this was a company, it’s not, but if this is a company, I wouldn’t be sitting in my CEO, oops, sorry, we missed our targets by 20%.

I would know in advance that we are likely to miss our targets and therefore can compensate for that by planning ahead with this type of software.

So that’s the process.

If you’d like help doing this again, something that my company does do.

happy to chat about, just stop by Trust insights.ai.

But as always, if you have follow up questions, leave them in the comments box below.

Subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter, I’ll talk to you soon.

Take care what helps solving your company’s data analytics and digital marketing problems.

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